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Cycling Etiquette Question (flippin' truck driver)

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Cycling Etiquette Question (flippin' truck driver)

Old 06-07-09, 07:21 PM
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Vermont22
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Cycling Etiquette Question (flippin' truck driver)

I went for a ride Saturday, and within 5 miles of being on the road I had already gotten heated over a situation I'll explain below. Just wondering who was right, and who was wrong. (sorry for the 2nd gradeish drawings)

If you look at the picture, I was heading west along route 4. I was going straight, and continued to go straight along the dotted line that separated the road from a pull off that looped around to put a vehicle onto the highway nearby. (like an onramp to get onto a highway).

However, while I was riding across that dotted line, a big dual cab Chevy pick-up laid on his horn as I rode past the pull off because he had to brake and wait to enter that pull off. He then flipped me the bird.

We actually both had to stop at the intersection ahead, and I motioned for him to roll down his window to talk to me / yell at him, but he didn't. Who was right in that situation? I can see where i could be "impeding traffic" as the slower vehicle, however I believe I had the right away. The only reason I'm asking is because this is the 2nd time this has happened in a week.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:27 PM
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If you're going straight you want to stay left of any lane that's intended for traffic turning to the right, so I think you were in the proper location (or maybe a little too far right if you were on the lane divider). It's a common misconception of motorists that cyclists should always be way over on the right and 'out of the way' even when that wouldn't be a safe place to ride.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:29 PM
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I don't understand your comment about "riding across that dotted line". If you were going straight, shouldn't you be riding on the left side of the line all the way?
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Old 06-07-09, 07:30 PM
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Ya - i mean if that pull off wasn't there, I would've been on the side of the road as usual. I wasn't favoring either side any more that usual.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
I don't understand your comment about "riding across that dotted line". If you were going straight, shouldn't you be riding on the left side of the line all the way?
The dotted line that separated the main road from the pull off...essentially replacing the regular white line on the side of the road. Sorry if this was unclear.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:35 PM
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So which side of the dotted line were you on? If you were on the right side, you're wrong, you're impeding the turning traffic and riding on the left side of a lane.

If you're on the left side of the dotted line, then you're where you're supposed to be.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:36 PM
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you stay to the left of the dotted line. You were NOT exiting.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
So which side of the dotted line were you on? If you were on the right side, you're wrong, you're impeding the turning traffic and riding on the left side of a lane.

If you're on the left side of the dotted line, then you're where you're supposed to be.
Ok then. I was where I needed to be. That guy pissed me off so bad. So frustrating, I got so heated and rode angry for half the ride.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Vermont22 View Post
I went for a ride Saturday, and within 5 miles of being on the road I had already gotten heated over a situation I'll explain below. Just wondering who was right, and who was wrong. (sorry for the 2nd gradeish drawings)

If you look at the picture, I was heading west along route 4. I was going straight, and continued to go straight along the dotted line that separated the road from a pull off that looped around to put a vehicle onto the highway nearby. (like an onramp to get onto a highway).

However, while I was riding across that dotted line, a big dual cab Chevy pick-up laid on his horn as I rode past the pull off because he had to brake and wait to enter that pull off. He then flipped me the bird.

We actually both had to stop at the intersection ahead, and I motioned for him to roll down his window to talk to me / yell at him, but he didn't. Who was right in that situation? I can see where i could be "impeding traffic" as the slower vehicle, however I believe I had the right away. The only reason I'm asking is because this is the 2nd time this has happened in a week.
They never do. They're real tough behind their tons of steel. Once it's just you and them, they're not so tough. I've tried to talk with many agitated motorists at lights, they pretend you don't exist all of a sudden.
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Old 06-07-09, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Vermont22 View Post
Ok then. I was where I needed to be. That guy pissed me off so bad. So frustrating, I got so heated and rode angry for half the ride.
Don't let them get to you. It's what they want. I usually just smile and wave. If possible, I'll try to chat with them at a light.

Although, turning the pedals in anger can be a good way to get a speed boost.
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Old 06-07-09, 08:01 PM
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>while I was riding across that dotted line, a big dual cab Chevy pick-up laid on his horn as I rode past the pull off because he had to brake and wait to enter that pull off. He then flipped me the bird.<

You couldn't see that it was a pick-up until the driver crossed the dotted line behind you, correct? You only realized it was a pick-up truck when the driver honked and you turned around to see why someone was honking. Correct? And you saw him flip you off when you turned around, right?

"That guy pissed me off so bad. So frustrating, I got so heated and rode angry for half the ride."

Rude drivers - you apparently weren't in any danger - are a fact of life, especially when you're riding by yourself, and will be fact of life for the rest of your life. Let it get to the other person, not you!
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Old 06-07-09, 08:06 PM
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Just think about when this jerk is explaining this situation to his/her friends, and all of his/her friends are thinking in their heads how stupid this person is. Then laugh at them.

If you see them at the light, just point and laugh. Don't argue, you won't accomplish anything. Make them feel stupid and vindicate yourself with laughter. :-)

You were doing what you should've been, by the way.
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Old 06-07-09, 08:10 PM
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PA has a bicycle drivers manual that covers all of these situations. The basic rule of thumb is on the road you are just like a car, just a little slower. In this case you continue on through just as you did.

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/...anual?readform

From the web site

ON- AND OFF- RAMPS

When youíre riding along a road and an on-ramp comes in from the right, stay in your normal lane position. Traffic from behind you on the ramp will first pass to your right, and then to your left.

An off-ramp is much like a right-turn lane, except that the traffic is faster. If youíre going straight and the ramp goes off to the right, stay in your normal traffic position, to its left. The exiting traffic will pass you on your right, and the through traffic to pass you on your left.

When youíre passing an off-ramp, exiting drivers may hesitate to pass you on the right. Itís effective to stay a little farther to the left than usual and make a left-turn signal. Drivers can see your hand signal for hundreds of feet behind you, so itís useful even when cars are traveling at highway speed.

A one-way roadway can have on- and off-ramps to the left side. When entering on a ramp from the left, ride along its left side, then the left side of the roadway until you can cross to your normal lane position. When exiting on a ramp to the left, cross to the left before the ramp and ride on the left side of the ramp.

Sometimes two roadways will join or divide, but the total number of lanes will stay the same: For example, a couple of one-lane roads can join into a single two-lane one-way road. In high-speed traffic, itís best to ride along the edge, as with ramps. When entering or exiting from the left in slower traffic, you may ride on the right side of the left road, so you avoid having to cross as many lanes.
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Old 06-07-09, 08:11 PM
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As long as you were "ahead" of him, you had the right away because you were going straight. however, these are always tricky situations, and depending on the driver may be complicated or down right scary.
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Old 06-07-09, 10:16 PM
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IIRC, that section is two lanes in each direction, correct?

If so, I would suggest you take the center of the right lane in that section to avoid the potential for a "right hook".
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Old 06-07-09, 10:46 PM
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If I understand the situation correctly you were in the right. You have to maintain your lane just like a vehicle would, unfortunately people in car can be pretty stupid at times. As long as you didn't get run over I wouldn't worry about the idiot in the vehicle, just keep your cool and enjoy the ride. Cheers....
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Old 06-08-09, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Vermont22 View Post
We actually both had to stop at the intersection ahead, and I motioned for him to roll down his window to talk to me / yell at him, but he didn't.
Classic! It's refreshing to know that people drive like jerks out in the sticks, too. I was on a very memorable flight from Jersey to Rutland during a thunderstorm a few years ago...
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Old 06-08-09, 04:39 AM
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right or wrong the motorist always wins.

i little while back a motorist in the city opened her door into a cyclist.
the women got a $43 fine. the cyclist died.

ride defensively, smile and feel sorry for those lazy *******s.
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Old 06-08-09, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wideAMG View Post
right or wrong the motorist always wins.
+1

I have a similar situation to the OP on a regular ride I do. Approaching a Y intersection, I want to veer left, but a lot of traffic behind me wants to go right. I always approach it carefully, look back, and signal with my arm that I'm going left.
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Old 06-08-09, 06:19 AM
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In a situation like that I would have slowed or stopped and looked over my should to see if any vehicles that could exit were coming. If there were none then I would have proceeded.

If people are blowing their horn and acting potentially violent I get their plate number, description, call the state police and tell them what happened. The one time I did it this year the guy got a home visit from an officer.

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Old 06-08-09, 09:17 AM
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I've got a road similar to this that I cross. What I do is use my mirror to see if I can take the lane and pass that exit from the safety of the middle of the road. I've not had anyone hit their horn or me, but maybe I'm just not as lucky as you. Looks like you did nothing wrong.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:01 AM
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This isn't a matter of manners - it's about the law. You were right. Some people will never understand. Just let them go.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:48 AM
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I have a simiiar situation and I don't think I've ever been honked at though I think it's partly because I try to anticipate the weaving the motorist and I must do and I sprint when I see there's someone who wants to weave with me. That and the road I use is frequented by cyclists getting to & from a local bike path.

I think, though, that the guy/s in particular who you were dealing with were probably more loud and aggressive because they feel big & bad inside their machines. I once read that when people who are used to driving passenger cars first get into an SUV, they become more aggressive and have more of an "I own the road" mentality. That's probably what that trucker had.

You were in the right and he.. was just being a trucker.
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Old 06-09-09, 05:45 AM
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Flipping off is fine, just remember there are consequences to every action. That is all.
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Old 06-09-09, 06:12 AM
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you were wrong...so very wrong....

your water bottle should have been firmly implanted in the guys windshield well before either of you stopped
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